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May 16, 2008 | General

Edmonton Airports today released details of the renovations to Edmonton International Airport terminal building which will be required to accommodate passengers from the Municipal Airport on June 1st.

Highlights of the renovations include:

-Six apron drive bridges will be installed, replacing two older fixed bridge models, for an increase of four new bridge locations. Two of the new bridges will be relocated from the Municipal Airport, and four new bridges have been purchased.

-To accommodate these new bridges, two new piers (raised walkways) will be constructed, one at the north end and one at the south end of the terminal building.

-Heated walkways will be installed between the terminal building and the parking positions of those commuter aircraft which are not boarded via a bridge (eg. Dash-8s).

-At the north end of the terminal (Air Canada), passengers will access these walkways from a new ground-level holdroom. At the south end of the building (Canadian), passengers will access the walkway from an expanded south end holdroom on the departures (upper) level.

-Deplaning commuter passengers will also use new heated walkways directly from the aircraft parking location to the baggage pick up area.

-Improvements will also take place at the security checkpoints (additional space to permit for two lines of passengers being checked simultaneously), baggage handling areas (additional space to permit handling of more luggage), and the parking lot (additional spaces and improved customer exits).

Other renovations and improvements are also underway at the International Airport. These include a $250,000 upgrade of the washrooms and an upgrade of the FIDS (Flight Information Display System) TV screens which show arriving and departing flight information.

An upgrade of the Arrivals Level was completed at the end of 1995, and included refinished wall surfaces, a new Information Booth, upgraded advertising displays, and refinished car rental and airport service counters.

The consolidation upgrades are expected to cost approximately $12 million, some of which will be borne by airlines for optional upgrades. For example, Air Canada has chosen to relocate its first class lounge to a new area in close proximity to its gates, past the security checkpoint. Canadian and Air Canada have both elected to upgrade their existing check-in counters.

Consolidation of all passenger flights at the International will take place on June 1st. The consolidation will increase the annualized passenger volume at Edmonton International from approximately 1.9 million per year to approximately 2.7 million per year. In addition, the startup of discount carrier WestJet on February 29 is expected to attract new air travellers who have previously chosen ground transportation.

“We expect our passengers may experience some disruption during the period of construction, but it should be minimal, and these upgrades and expansions are necessary to accommodate the increased passenger volumes,” said Diane Leonard, Edmonton Airports’ Manager of Consolidation Projects. “We guarantee that the essential elements of the work will be completed by June 1st, before the passengers who previously used the Municipal Airport begin to use the International.

“We are very committed to making every passenger’s visit to Edmonton International an efficient and positive experience, and these short-term construction projects will help us achieve that goal,” said Leonard.